Mark Selby looks to end his losing streak against Hossein Vafaei when they lock horns in the Shanghai Masters last 16 on Tuesday.
The Iranian has become something of a nemesis to the Jester in recent years, winning each of their last three meetings – all of which came at Triple Crown events.
The most recent of these came at the Masters in January, when Vafaei prevailed a commanding 6-2 winner.
Selby will subsequently be desperate to stop the rot and arrives in Shanghai fresh from reaching the European Masters semi-finals last month, losing out to eventual champion Barry Hawkins.
The four-time Crucible king is one of a handful of formers Shanghai Masters winners in the draw, having lifted the trophy in 2011 following a hard-earned 10-9 victory over Mark Williams.
Selby returned to the winners’ circle last season following his triumphs at the English Open and WST Classic – as well as reaching the World Championship final – and he will be eager to build on that momentum this term.
Meanwhile, Vafaei is hoping for better fortunes this campaign after a generally modest 2022-23, during which he failed to progress beyond the last 16 of any ranking event.
It culminated in a humbling 13-2 defeat in his grudge match with Ronnie O’Sullivan at the World Championship in April.
The Iranian was then whitewashed by Allan Taylor at the European Masters last month, though he has secured qualification for the British Open and English Open.
And Vafaei was in brilliant form against local wildcard Gong Chenzhi during his first match – hitting breaks of 120, 117 and 108 in a dominant 6-1 victory.
The winner of this match will play Judd Trump in the quarter-finals of the 2023 Shanghai Masters.
Play gets underway at 12.30pm BST on Tuesday and will be contested over the best of 11 frames at Shanghai Grand Stage.
How to watch Selby v Vafaei live stream
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4) Select the play icon next to the match in progress and the stream window will appear